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130                               SHIPPING PRACTICE

The agent has a right to his commission, which may be
either at an expressed rate or implied; should there be
no express agreement, then the right to commission is
implied at such a rate as is customary or usual.

It is usual to incorporate in the charter-party a clause
providing for the agent's commission—in such a case the
agent cannot himself sue on the charter-party as he is not a
party to it; he may, however, sue through Ms principal as
trustee for him, and in any event he can sue his principal
on a collateral agreement to pay his commission evidenced
in the charter-party. If the charter-party contains no
reference to the agent's commission he may sue the ship-
owner on an implied contract to pay him the customary
remuneration.

Whilst the principal is responsible to the agent for pay-
ment of all commissions due, there is no obligation on the
part of the principal to continue a contract for the sole
benefit of an agent earning his commission. For example,
where a long time charter-party has been fixed for ten years
the agent may consider that for this period he will receive
commission. Should the principals agree mutually to close
the contract after two years have elapsed, they may do so,
and the agent is therefore placed in the position of losing
eight years* commission. The agent in such a case has no
remedy unless a clause is inserted in the charter-party or
agency agreement whereby he is to receive commission for
the full time of the contract. A point here to be empha-
sized, however, is that there must be no collaboration on
the part of the principals to close the contract in order that
the agent's right to his commission shall be defeated.

The agents concerned with the chartering of vessels are
known as brokers, and many charter-parties are fixed by the
brokers acting on behalf of the principals. In this case the
broker should see that his signature to a charter-party is
clearly defined, stating that he is an agent, and he must
therefore sign the document and qualify his signature by the
words "As Agents," "As Agents for the Charterers/' or by
any similar words. The use of the word "Agent" alone is